Tips & Techniques for Growing Beets
 

 

Varieties of Artichokes

Different varieties of artichokes exists.   Artichokes can be heirloom or hybrid.  Some varieties seem to work better than others, especially if you are in an area with a short growing season.  Some years you may get healthy plants but no chokes.  This is partly due to the weather conditions and the type of plants chosen.  If this happens to you, select a different variety.  Also, the size of the plants that you set out can make a difference since some varieties of artichokes take a long time to make.  If you raise your own plants, you may want to start them from seed indoors about two or three months before you plan to put them in the ground.

Preparing the Soil

Artichokes can be grown with little effort, if you plant them in rows. You will need to till the garden and mark off rows.  A string with a stick tied to each end can be used for creating straight rows.  If you cut the sticks to a length of the distance between rows, you can use the sticks to measure the location of the next row.  It will make tilling and weeding easier, if you make the middles slightly wider than your tiller.  Using a hoe, make a straight shallow trench beneath the string.  Once the rows have been marked off, you will want to dig holes about one and a half feet apart along the trench.  It is best to pour some water in each hole as you set out the plants.  You may also include about a table spoon full of regular commercial fertilizer, e.g. 12-12-12 garden fertilizer.

Planting Artichokes

It is best to grow plants and set them out once there is little chance of frost.  Planting the seed directly in the grown will not give them time to make chokes.  To reduce the shock of transplanting, you can start your plants in trays with fairly large  cavities and use a mixture of potting soil that will harden slightly around the roots.  In that way, the soil will stay on the plants as you set them out.  You will need to buy seed each year since artichokes will not make seed the first year. Besides hybrids my work best and unlike heirlooms, the seeds saved from hybrids may not even come up and if they do they will not produce the exact same type of plants as the hybrid.

Weeding & Plant Maintenance

There are many techniques that gardeners use to control weeds.  I like using the tiller to eliminate most of the weeds.  By making your middles slightly wider than your tiller, you can control most weeds and aerate the soil at the same time by tilling often..  You can till once down each middle, close to the plants and leave only weeds that come up in the actual row.  Since you have significant space between plants hoeing the weeds from around the plants is easy. You will need to till and hoe at least three times.  Plants grow about two feed tall and hopefully start to form chokes.  At that point you may want to trim back some of the foliage to allow most of the growth to be devoted to the chokes.

Controlling Diseases and Insects

Leaf eating insects may attach your artichoke plants.  For details on controlling diseases and pests, go to Sources of Information on Vegetable Garden Diseases and Pests.

 Harvesting

To harvest an artichoke, you simply cut the choke off where it is attached to the plant.  Sometimes this will result in a second choke forming before the end of the gardening season.

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